Grade the Trade: Mavericks form elite big three with bargain trade

Dallas Mavericks v Phoenix Suns
Dallas Mavericks v Phoenix Suns / Christian Petersen/GettyImages
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Grading the trade for the Dallas Mavericks

This trade lands the Mavericks one of the best centers they've ever had, and the best center since winning the NBA Finals in 2011. Center has been a weak link for the Mavs for awhile now, and this trade fills that hole with a former No. 1 overall pick that is only 24 years old.

This trade also allows the Mavs to keep their No. 10 overall pick and pursue trade-back options with other teams. If the Mavericks trade back, they'd likely gain another valuable asset and have the chance to draft a player later in the first round. Dallas gaining a good player without giving up draft capital is huge.

Ayton would bring the Mavericks some rim protection, rebounding, and interior scoring. He also has good mobility and can switch some on the perimeter. He isn't an outstanding defender, but he affects shots in the paint with his big frame and wingspan.

Ayton has a career average of 16.7 points, 10.4 rebounds, and one block per game. He is easily a top-10 center in the NBA and gives Dallas a young cornerstone to pair with Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving.

Ayton is dominant down low and is good offensively when dialed in. He also has a consistent mid-range jumper, and defenders have to guard him from 18 feet and in.

Dallas would also give him a change of scenery, and Jason Kidd would hopefully get him fully engaged defensively and fix his ego. Players with egos don't mix with the Mavs' culture, and he has to be fully invested in whatever plan Dallas has for him.

This trade finally gives Dallas a great center, and they can focus on building around Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, and Ayton. They also would be able to keep their first-round pick in this trade, and they'll add a young player to this core.

Potential starting lineup: Kyrie Irving, Luka Doncic, Reggie Bullock, Maxi Kleber, Deandre Ayton

This lineup has good defense and three solid scorers in Doncic, Irving, and Ayton. They would likely start a player they land in a trade on draft night, but this is a likely starting lineup they'd have if they make this trade now.

Dallas gets a B+ on this trade because they landed a good center and traded two players that didn't play, JaVale McGee and Davis Bertans. Losing Tim Hardaway Jr. would be a tough loss, but his contract isn't the best, and they could find a microwave scorer and shooter elsewhere on a better contract.

mavs grade. B+. Only trade one player that consistently plays. Risk with Ayton's effort, but overall he's a great starting center. Dallas Mavericks